STEPHEN H. HAM
BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY
(1831 – 1913)
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA
Stephen H. Ham and Elizabeth (Williams) Ham, and a member of a family that, originating in Ireland, early settled in Alabama. Stephen H. Ham was born in Lauderdale County, Alabama, in 1831, and died in Northern Mississippi in 1913. When he was ten years of age his parents removed to DeSoto County, Mississippi, and there he was reared, educated and married. He was a farmer and stockman by vocation, and his home was located in Tate County, which was formed from parts of DeSoto, Tunica, Lafayette and Panola counties.
When the Civil war came on his sympathies were with the South and he enlisted in the Confederate army, -in which he served four years, during which he sustained a wound in the shoulder. When peace was declared he resumed the duties and work of the civilian and through hard and industrious work accumulated a modest property. At his death, which occurred August 5, 1913, he was considered one of his community’s good and reliable citizens.
In politics, Mr. Ham was a democrat, while fraternally he was affiliated with the Masons and was treasurer of his lodge for twenty years prior to his death. Mr. Ham married Elizabeth Williams, who was born in Tennessee in 1834, and who still survives and makes her home at Strayhorn, Mississippi.
There were eight children in the family, namely:
- James Russell Ham – “An example of that thrift and energy which enable a man to retire from active pursuits at a comparatively early age is found in the career of James Russell Ham of Maysville who, previous to renouncing business cares in 1909, was one of this city’s well known merchants. While the greater part of his active operations was set aside, Mr. Ham possessedan active and energetic spirit which would not allow him to remain idle and he had a number of interests which occupied his mind. As a citizen he was progressive and public-spirited, and actedin the capacity of justice of the peace in 1916. Mr. Ham was born near Hernando, DeSoto County, Mississippi, October 18, 1858”
- Eliza Ham, deceased in 1916, who was the wife of Thomas H. Brewer, a farmer residing one-half mile from the old Ham homestead in Tate County, Mississippi;
- Cleo Ham , who died at the age of thirteen years;
- Lou Emma Ham, who married John Jones, the owner of 4,000 acres of land at Jayton, Texas;
- Alice Ham, who was the wife of William Lashley, a farmer of Tate County, Mississippi;
- Perneaeia Ham, who is the wife of Madison Powell, a farmer of Strayhorn, Mississippi;
- Clementine Ham who married Sidney Gray, a farmer of Marshall County, Mississippi;
- A. L., who was a farmer at Jayton, Texas.
His son, James Russell Ham was reared in Tate County, Mississippi, near the Town of Senatobia, and there attended the public schools. He was brought up as a farmer and remained on the home place until twenty years of age, at which time he was married and removed to Scott County, Arkansas, but remained only eight years. In 1887 he changed his residence to Muskogee, Indian Territory, where he became a pioneer farmer and remained one year, and then returned to Arkansas, continuing for a short time as a farmer of Washington County.
On October 18, 1888, he came to Whitebead, Indian Territory, where for seven years he was engaged in farming, but finally turned his attention to mercantile lines, in which he was successfully engaged at that point until 1903. In that year Mr. Ham came to Maysville, entered the general merchandise business and built up a large and profitable trade, in the handling of which he continued until his store was destroyed by fire in 1909, at that time retiring from merchandising. He was, however, rather actively interested in trading and trafficking, and was a director, stockholder and treasurer of the. Farmers’ Gin Company.
Politically a democrat, Mr. Ham was county commissioner of Garvin County for five years, acting as justice of the peace. Fraternally, he belonged to Maysville Lodge No. 238, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he was treasurer since its inception in 1903, and he reached the thirty-second degree in Masonry, belonging to Valley of Guthrie Consistory No. 1, and to India Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine, of Oklahoma City. He formerly held membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.
On November 13, 1877, at Pleasant Hill, Mississippi, Mr. Ham was united in marriage with Miss Nancy Caroline McGuire, (Mar 30, 1861 MS – Nov. 16, 1930 OK) daughter of Zial McGuire, who lost his life in the Confederate service during the Civil war.
Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Ham:
- William Henry Ham who died at the age of six years
- Cora D. Ham, whose death occurred when she was four years old;
- James Austin Ham, who was but sixteen months of age when he died;
- C. E. Ham who was engaged in the real estate business at Maysville;
- Charles O. Ham who was engaged in merchandising at Jayton, Texas;
- Laura D. Ham who was attending the public school at Maysville in 1916.
James Russell Ham passed away April 9, 1935 in Oklahoma and is buried in Maysville Cemetery, Maysville, Garvin County, Oklahoma along with his wife.
- The above transcribed from: A standard history of Oklahoma: an authentic narrative of its Volume 3 By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn The American Historical Society, 1916
- Find A Grave Memorial# 50333230 50333258
This biography is included in the Book Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Vol. III